There's not much between Huntsville and Birmingham, except somewhere near an hour and a half of scenery that can be compressed into approximately three minutes of equally unexciting viewing:
"Is there anything else to see?"
"More trees, I think."
"Are we there yet?"
"Given that we left five minutes ago, and it takes nearly an hour and a half to get there, I think that highly unlikely."
It's a pity, really; Alabama seems to be missing some of the out-and-out oddness that is the freeway scenery in Arkansas. Anyone who has driven I-30 has encountered one of the most famous (and enduring) billboards in central Arkansas:
Enormous capital letters, the billboard equivalent of a shout:
"WARNING! PREPARE TO MEET GOD!"
You think I'm kidding, but every person who has seen the sign, when asked about it, has trouble resisting the urge to yell the words instead of merely saying them. (After all, it should come as a shock to everyone driving down I-30 that there are actually churches in central Arkansas. Who knew? In the Bible Belt? What a shocking aberration!)
For those oriented toward country music, go a few miles further north on I-30 and you'll be presented with the most serendipitous (and undoubtedly not accidental) juxtapositioning of businesses, ever.
First, the bar devoted to country music. For years, it was BJ's Star-Studded Honky Tonk, but the last time we went to Arkansas, it had changed to the more Urban Redneck name of "Electric Cowboy."
Next to the bar: a Waffle House.
Next to the Waffle House: a Super 8 Motel. I may be slightly wrong about the name of the hotel, but I'm fairly certain that it's either a Super 8 or a Motel 6. (Either way, it was one of those dirt-cheap motels which cater to the kind of guests who are more concerned about the existence of a bed than about any presence or absence of quality.)
Think about it. You go to the bar, you drink yourself stupid, you stumble to the Waffle House for cheap coffee with the molecular density of molten lava, and then you stumble to the motel to sleep it all off.
These people are making a killing, and I cackle madly every time I pass that place on I-30.
What do we have? Since the ever-so-classic Boobie Bungalow got shut down [or not. see the comments], the funniest signs we've got on I-65 are for some gas station advertising their "dazzling bathrooms." That's a direct quote; I was so disturbed when I saw it that I fumbled for pen and paper and scrawled a note down right then, before I could forget.
Dazzling bathrooms. I don't know about you, but I haven't been much in the way of dazzled when going into a gas station bathroom since, oh, I dunno, never. As far as I'm concerned, they're places you duck furtively into while on roadtrips, pray that the toilet actually flushes, and get out of before the creepy-crawlies get a GPS fix on you.
Somehow, I feel a little robbed. Up here, we seem to be lacking the billboard charm that even south Alabama has. There were some excellent signs down in Mobile.
Yep, I think I miss Boobie Bungalow. 'Dazzling bathrooms' just doesn't cut it.